Choosing the Right Bedding

Bedding is one of the best ways to change the look of a bedroom without the cost of redesigning the entire space.  However, if you are looking for a style that is more unique than just a “bed in a bag” look, the search may be daunting.  Making selections piece by piece can get difficult with the array of design choices available and knowing where to find the right things at the right prices.  Having to consider all of the factors involved, we came up with a guide to help simplify the search and create a bed that reflects both your style and needs.


  1. Start at the Bottom

If you are going to buy a new mattress that is the first thing you should do.  Consider all of the factors when making this selection.  Is this going in a guest room that isn’t used very often? Will it be the bed you sleep on every night?  Whether it is something you or your guests will sleep on, it needs to be comfortable so it is important to buy the best quality you can afford.  Your new mattress will be an investment so it would be a good idea to protect it with mattress pad.  These pads have all kinds of options available and include fills that mimic featherbeds and even memory fills that respond to body temperatures and shapes.  These fills may even be able to help an old mattress feel new again!

Bed pillows are also another important foundation piece to consider.  They can make or break a good night’s sleep so it pays to invest in ones that are well constructed.  Choosing a pillow basically comes down to selecting the desired fill, size and support level.  Soft fills like down, feather or faux down fills offer light support.  For firmer support going with a wool or organic cotton fill would be a good choice.  Foam pillows can relieve pressure points because they can mold and contour to your spine, shoulders and neck.  Protecting these pillows is important as well; purchasing a pillow protector will not only help to preserve your pillows but will also be a good hygiene buffer.

  1. Layers of Comfort


  • Selecting sheets is a matter of personal opinion and taste. With so many options available you need to do your research.  Thread count, texture, color and pattern are all factors.  Whatever you decide on, make sure you select the best quality in your budget.
  • Blankets are great ways to layer in color or pattern and can be switched out as desired or needed. They are available in a range of weights and materials and are budget friendly so you can have options on hand.
  • Quilts and coverlets can also be layered in with blankets and sheets. They can be combined with comforters and duvets or act as the main bed covering as well.  Both coverlets and quilts have a decorative stitching on the top but are a bit different.  A quilt has a thin layer of fill and a coverlet does not.  Like blankets, these come in a variety of colors and patterns.  You can create different looks in the way that you dress the bed with them as well.  Tucking it in and making it look crisp and fresh will remind people of a hotel or resort.  Leaving the coverlet or quilt untucked and loose would be more casual and relaxed.
  • Duvets and comforters are usually used as the top layer on most beds. They can also be folded and kept at the foot of the bed to be used as needed, or as a decorative accent.  Both of these covers have a fill inside them such as down, cotton or another synthetic fill.  The difference between the two is that a comforter has its fill sewn into it as one piece and a duvet has a removable fill and cover, like a pillow case.  Most comforters have a synthetic fill which makes them washable.  If your duvet or comforter is filled with down it will need to be dry cleaned and not washed.
  1. The final details


  • Accent pillows are a great way to add extra color or texture. They can also be used to dress a bed up or down.  Adding decorative trims and fringes can bring elegance and sophistication to bedding while keeping pillows simple will make your bedding more crisp and tailored.  You can also use a little bit of both for an eclectic and maybe even a fun “his and hers” look.  One thing to keep in mind when selecting your pillows is that while the number of pillows you put on the bed is a personal thing there are some rules of thumb on the pillow sizes.

Twin Bed: Most people put one standard pillow with a couple of accent pillows.  If you want it to look a little more dramatic you may also think about putting one king pillow on it instead of the standard size pillow.  The king sham will cover the entire width of the bed and look fuller, then layer the look with your accent pillows.


Full Size Bed: Most commonly used is two standard pillows or two Euro shams.  You can combine both the standard shams as well as the Euro shams for a more layered look, then add one to two accent pillows.


Queen Bed: With the sizing between a Full size and Queen size bed not varying much, it is okay to use the same type of pillow configuration you would see on a full size bed.  Queen beds can easily hold two Euro shams and two standard shams, or two Euros with two queen shams.  Next you would layer two or three accent pillows or you could add a bolster into the mix.

King Bed: You can mix three Euro shams with two king shams or three standard pillows and two king shams.  Next you would add three accent pillows or a couple of accent pillows with a bolster for a nice layered look.

Some people prefer to keep the number of pillows on their bed minimal, while others enjoy the contrast and interest created with layered pillows.  Whatever works for you in your space remember it is important to have a place to keep the pillows you take off of the bed while you sleep so that they don’t clutter up the room and become a nuisance.  Storage ottomans or benches are a good solution as they serve two purposes for your bedroom.


  • Bed skirts are another great detail that can serve more than one function. They add another decorative layer for your bedding as well as shielding anything stored under the bed from view.  They also block dust and dirt from building up underneath your bed.


  • Bed runners are a great way to bring in more interest or blend a design together and can serve a secondary function as well. These accents are also referred to as: bed scarfs, or maybe even foot warmers.  They are usually a strip of fabric or fabrics that are put together similarly to a table runner that will protect the bedspread as the end of the bed are where a lot of people may sit or lay things.  You commonly see them used in hotels and resorts.  They can also have a thin layer of fill inside them like a quilt or comforter that can help keep your feet warm.

Bedding can be a personal thing to a lot of people and each bedroom has its own needs.  Kid’s rooms, guest rooms and master bedrooms most likely won’t have the same type of bedding.  Using the guidelines above can help you to narrow down some of the many options you have and also get you thinking about all of the details involved.  Here are a few more things to remember that can help in choosing the best fabrics for each area and where to apply them in your bedding.


  • Kids rooms: It is probably obvious that in child’s room you wouldn’t want to choose very expensive or high maintenance bedding. For example, you would select a silk comforter that can stain or pillows with too many trims and fringes that are just waiting to be pulled and played with.  Making fabric choices that are bold yet fun and can easily take a lot of wear and tear.  These fabrics need to be washable and easily replaceable.  Selecting solids or patterns that can be changed up and added to are good basics for this type of space.


  • Guest Rooms: It is important to remember that durability is key here as well. Using a solid color on your duvet or comforter can be a good place to start.  That way you can easily change out pillows as you desire.  Also think about getting a comforter that is reversible and can create a new look without changing out everything else or adds a custom look when folded down.



  • Master Bedrooms: This is usually where most people like to make more of a statement. Using more luxurious and elegant fabrics helps to create a more sophisticated feel.  Trims also help to make the look more custom.  Using more durable fabrics on the bedspread is always a good idea while using your more expensive fabrics and trims on pillows is a better way to go.

Whether you decide to do more custom bedding or just go with a bed set from a store, remember that bedding is an important statement piece.  It can change the entire look and feel of a room.  Ideal bedding should draw attention and express your sense of style while providing a comfortable place to rest.  Hiring a designer to help you put these together can help you to get the style, the quality and the overall feel want in your bedroom.  They can ensure you get it right the first time and help you to come up with unique ways to stretch your budget while keeping a distinctive style.